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How many more youths like Ali will be shot down by the police? In Turkey? Elsewhere? To impose the order of disorder while a crisis sweeps over us…

Had I not come across this 24 second-long video. Twenty-four seconds that curdled my blood. And I’m not the only one. Twenty-four seconds that followed on the few minutes when the lightning that fell on a family singed a mother’s heart forever.

I will not force you to see it, but I will describe it. A young boy in the middle of the street. Policemen surround him, lay him on a stretcher, then in the ambulance. When they lift him on to the stretcher, grabbing him under the legs and the neck, his head falls back. His blond hair… One of the policemen starts pumping his chest in a frenzy, pumping several times with his hand to get his heart started again, in vain. A rather strange gesture. Because you can see the boy has been shot in the heart, is this an appropriate move? He is also wounded on the left side of his groin.

It happened the day before yesterday, on Sunday April 26 in Adana in the Sucuzade neighborhood, Seyhan district. And today, the media in the government’s service wrote, “a young Syrian, Ali El Hamdani, seeing the police, attempted to flee. One policeman fired a warning shot into the air. The youth was accidentaly wounded in the foot.”

You know that Turkey is the only country in the world to apply an odd restriction: a weekend curfew. During that time, police patrol and issue tickets. Moreover, for those aged less than 20 or more than 65 years, the prohibition to go outside applies every day. Ali was barely 19. It was Sunday, thus, he was doubly prohibited to go out. But he had to go to work. I won’t go over it again, on the fate of those who cannot survive without working, nor on the situation of Syrian migrants, nor on those children thrown into exploitation, be they Turkish or migrants… Ali checked every one of the categories. Obviously, when he saw the police control, he tried to avoid the fine. The scene is not difficult to imagine. He panicked. Perhaps the police yelled “stop!”. He ran. What I don’t understand happened afterwards. No one can understand it. Only the rags serving the government spew any old nonsense and repeat as one: “A warning shot”. Even a grade-school child raises the same question: “how can someone who is fleeing receive a bullet in the chest and another in the groin?”. Was he running toward the policemen? How can a bullet fired in the air hit him from the front, and twice?

Let’s say he was fleeing so as not to pay the fine, which is not nice. Was that a reason to kill him? While the State uses every bought or confiscated means in order to hide its crime…

I don’t know who shared the video, probaby someone from the neighborhood because they are shocked and angry. #AliyiÖldürenlerNerede “where are those who killed Ali?” reads the hashtag in which indignation and sadness erupt. Pouring out beneath it, the comments… some mention the family, some remind of other lives taken the same way during the Gezi revolt, Ali İsmail Korkmaz, Hasan Ferit Gedik, Medeni Yıldırım, Ahmet Atakan, Berkin Elvan, et Kemal Kurkut, during Newroz 2017… Voices of those who curse and cry, who speak out. “Don’t tell me such measures are to preserve public health. I hate my country”. But others also…“He was a Syrian”, some say, as if this was reason enough to be killed. “They let those enter into the country, are they going to shoot them down one by one now?” Others congratulate the police, support the lies of those in power. “Well done!”, “The law is the law!”

We are barely keeping our balance, on the rim of the cliff overhanging this deep crevice, a place where words are insufficient. Other than hell, what is a world that has lost its conscience and its humanity?

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges –
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